March Madness is back in VR, but it will cost you

Sweet 16 Tip Times, TV Schedule, Live Stream, Bracket & More

But if the fully produced experience is much better than VR streams that just provide a stationary camera and pull audio from the TV broadcast, it could convince fans to open their wallet and change the entire business model of VR streams.

Through the NCAA March Madness Live VR app, which will be available via the Oculus Store, fans will be able to choose from two VR premium ticket options: the first being a Silver option for $1.99 per game or a Gold option for $2.99 per game or $7.99 for six games.

The networks also said the first weekend of the tournament was streamed on March Madness Live more than ever before with 69.1 million live streams, an increase of 24 percent over past year. Once inside, you'll need to buy a "premium ticket" to watch the immersive action on the hardwood for $2 or $3 per game.

Looking for another way to watch all of the March Madness?

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So Turner is trying to step up its presentation of the NCAA Tournament by bringing in new technology. Partnering with Intel, the NCAA, Turner Sports, and CBS Sports is set to produce six games in VR, including games from the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 in San Jose, CA, and from the Final Four and National Championship Game in Glendale, AZ.

While numbers of how many fans watched last year's Final Four in VR weren't made available, adding to ongoing skepticism about its growth, Intel's Aufhauser said his company's deal with the NCAA, Turner and CBS shows "a commitment" to the medium. Intel noted that Intel Tru VR is the new brand to emerge from the Voke acquisition. And the March Madness Facebook page will provide users with 360-degree highlights from games produced in VR. "We're hoping to provide a unique experience".

The volumetric video is captured and sent through more than five miles of fiber-optic cables, which is then fed into an on-site Intel control room, where a team of producers pick out and package the replays.

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